Driving in the mountains can be intimidating for truck drivers, and that is especially true for rookie drivers. However, you can quickly gain confidence on mountain routes by following some basic safety rules and taking advantage of safety features available to you. Here are the seven need to know trucker tips for driving in the mountains.
Trucker Mountain Driving Tips
#1 Slow And Steady
Taking it slow and steady is probably the best advice for driving mountain routes. So many drivers make the mistake of traveling too fast on the steep grade because they misjudged its elevation based on its appearance. It’s tough to tell the grade of a hill just by looking at it, so it’s easy to make this mistake.
However, once your truck gains momentum traveling down the grade, it is nearly impossible to regain control. So take it slow and steady so as not to put yourself in this situation.
Our advice is to let the jake brake do the work of maintaining the constant speed. Also, touch the brake occasionally to keep your unit straight as you go down the hill.
#2 Pay Attention to The Weather
If you are planning a route into the mountains, you will need to check the weather conditions. Mountain weather is unpredictable, so it is essential to check the weather the day of. If you find bad or dangerous weather conditions, you can consider an alternate route hopefully without a steep grade.
You should prepare yourself for changes in the weather as you are climbing or descending the mountain. The difference in altitude can bring a slew of weather conditions, so it is essential for you to stay alert to any changes.
Also, if there is a chain sign, please respect it. Put your chains on at the bottom of the hill. Don’t wait until you spin out and come back down the mountain.
#3 Don’t Tailgate
Leave as much room as possible between your and the vehicles ahead of you. Never tailgate on a mountain road. In the case of an emergency and you need to straighten out the truck. If your unit gets out of shape, you will want plenty of space to adjust.
#4 Easy on Corners
Take corner on a mountain extra slow because your truck and trailer
are extra vulnerable when not straight. Your rig is much more likely to jackknife when turning. You have much more controls over the unit when it is lined up traveling a straight line.
#5 Regaining Control
If you feel you are starting to lose control of the rig, try crowding the unit to the shoulder of the road if possible. This will hopefully allow you to catch gravel to straighten it out. Also gently tap on the trailer brake. This might be enough to pull your unit straight again.
Stay Safe Out There
Keep in mind, not every driver on the road is following all the proper safe driving rules and tips. They are just as likely to lose control or hit a patch of ice. Give yourself plenty of distance and be aware of potential dangers.
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